Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hollow form jewelry in precious metal clay

I know, you are probably sick of hearing about my jewelry making adventures, and would like me to post an art lesson or two or three, but I've had a lull in my DragonWing Arts art enrichment business and in the meantime I've been doing other stuff, and I want to share!
So yesterday, I took my third class in PMC (precious metal clay).  I've written about this amazing material before, here and here.  The name of the class was Hollow Forms, and I really didn't  have any preconceived notion what to expect.  I was taking the class primarily because the class I have been craving, enameling on PMC, was postponed until mid-summer, and I didn't want to wait that long. By the way, the (expensive) little package in my hand above made all the jewelry pictured in this post - two pairs of earrings and a  pendant - and there's a teensy bit left for next time.

The pair of earrings in the photos below were the first thing I made.  The texture on the silver comes from a really cool paisley rubber stamp.  Here's a closeup of the awesome texture.  The circular shapes were dried on the back of a six-well paint palette, to get the domed texture.
 Below is a side view of the earrings, so you can see the shape of them, kind of like a lentil, or a clamshell, and a photo of the pair of them.  They are on specially made ear wires, because of they way they are drilled in the middle.  I think they're pretty awesome!
 Here you can see how they actually dangle from my ear. 
Then I embarked on making this square pillow shaped earrings in the photo below, domed on the paint palette again.  I'm not sure if you can see in the photos, but the front and back squares are joined at the corners, and there is a narrow almond shape end piece on each side. 
 I think perhaps you can see side shape (and the cool texture on it) in the photo below.  Excuse my hairdo!!
The black is a patina I put on them and rubbed off, to bring out the raised squares in the texture, and also the framing effect of the side pieces.  The texture came from a piece of textured wallpaper!  You can see that I added an onyx bead at the bottom when I assembled them.  (I had drilled a hole through two of the side pieces so I could put a headpin through them.).  They are a great size for an everyday sort of earring.  Though of course, if I wore them every day, when would I wear the approximately 100 more pairs of earrings I own? 
 Perhaps this is a better view.
 And then I decided to use the rest of time and my clay to make a pendant, a companion for the first pair of earrings.  It's a larger version of the same shape, though this time I focused in on a fabulous wave-like texture detail of the paisley rubber stamp. 

I drilled two holes in the assembled piece, and then made two little donut shapes that I attached over the holes.  The piece is hollow inside.  I plan to run a black silk cord in one hole and out the other, to complete the pendant. 
 You can see that the pendant will go nicely with the earrings, won't it?
You can also make hollow forms with PMC by building the piece over a core that burns out. This way you can create some irregular shapes.   I have a great idea for a piece I'd like to make this way, but I didn't have the time to try it out yesterday.  

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